Belle Vernon Area will refinance bond issue
With the budget approval deadline fast approaching, the Belle Vernon Area School Board spent most of its meeting Monday settling financial matters.
The board unanimously agreed to refinance a portion of a five-year-old bond issue for an estimated one-time savings of $137,000.
The issuance of the general obligation bonds, not to exceed $5,250,000, will pay off the outstanding bond, go to various capital improvement projects and pay the cost of issuing and insuring the new bonds.
The anticipated interest rate would decrease from a 3.9 percent average to a fixed rate of 3.03 percent or less.
Superintendent Dr. John Wilkinson compared the action with refinancing a home at a lower interest rate while keeping the same payment schedule. The savings, however, will be limited to such expenditures as building and grounds improvement projects.
“The bottom line becomes you don't change anything you currently have and you're getting a windfall of $137,000 that you can put into your capital improvement fund and use it for buildings or reduce your debt service. But we chose to put it into our facilities instead,” board member Aaron Bialon explained after the meeting.
“Your debt service repayment remains the same through 2018 and then it's done.”
Belle Vernon Area can close on the deal July 24 when the new bond issue will be put up for bid via an online auction.
“You'll have banks battle it out like an auction for your bonds, because we have such a good rating. But the board still has final approval,” Wilkinson said.
“As soon as we close, that money gets deposited right into our account. We can buy new text books next year or you can let it sit, but you can't use it for teachers' salaries or anything like that. It has to be for something that lasts several years.”
The board agreed to pay the Central Westmoreland Career and Technology Center $62,926 annually for the next 15 years to offset renovation and repair costs – including an outdated roof and boiler system.
The initial plan offered to the school board in October by CWCTC director Brad Elwood asked for nearly $100,000 per year.
“The overall project cost was pared down from $9.7 million to $6.4 million,” Bialon, who attended a recent CTC meeting, told the board.
“These items have never been replaced since the inception of the building. Should a boiler go down, you wouldn't have facilities available for the students for approximately six weeks.”
Nine Westmoreland County school districts will share the cost in proportion to how many students have attended the vocational school the past three years.
“Last year, we came pretty close to a boiler going down, so you could see the overall impact if something catastrophic like that would happen,” Bialon said. “Dr. Wilkinson worked extensively in reduction of the cost, and obviously it's more beneficial for us as well as the other districts involved.”
About 50 BVA students took classes at the center this past school year, with only Hempfield sending more students.
In other action, the board:
• Authorized a transfer of $266,868 from the general fund into the Pennsylvania Local Government Investment Trust fund for the budget ending June 30. It agreed to transfer $342,708 from PLGIT into the general fund. The latter was required as a financial reporting provision for post-employment benefits.
• Raised lunch prices by 10 cents for elementary ($2) and secondary students ($2.30).
• Approved one-year salary increases for three confidential secretaries, four nonunion “head” cooks and the school board secretary.
• Purchased stage curtains and lining for Belle Vernon Area Middle School for $4,825, which includes installation and a three-year warranty.
• Accepted a proposal from CCL Technologies to replace the paging system at Marion Elementary with a Cisco/Singlewire paging system including a built-in bell scheduler for $57,578.
• Accepted the following resignations: Annette Clay, family and consumer science teacher; Denise Shusta, English teacher; Steven Toth, health and physical education teacher; Mario Muccinio, custodian; and Robert Baron, security guard.
• Approved a service agreement with Adelphoi Education for next school year with a daily tuition schedule of $72.75 for regular students and $80.10 for special education students, as needed for disruptive students.
Rick Bruni Jr. is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 724-684-2635.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Law enforcement often feels overwhelmed by Mon Valley’s heroin epidemic
- Monongahela uses modern technology to connect people to the city’s historic past
- Steelers training camp has California University link
- 7 Up distributed from two Charleroi sites
- Mon Valley school districts wait out budget impasse
- Brownsville ducky race postponed
- Scout restores Brownsville paddleboat’s smokestacks to earn Eagle award
- N. Charleroi man jailed in child sex case
- Artwork offers therapy for Turtle Creek painter
- Washington Township firefighters make child’s dream come true